Barry Callebaut lives by its Forever Chocolate strategy, of which agroforestry is a cornerstone. With Nestlé’s Net Zero ambition and the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, the chocolate giant plans to protect biodiversity and support the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.
An agroforestry insetting approach also allows for the removal of carbon within the company's and its customers' supply chains, according to a release.
The agreement between Barry Callebaut and Nestlé will roll out 11,500 hectacres of agroforestry, including payments for ecosystem services to more than 6,000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa
The implementation of the agroforestry project is underway, with three cooperatives in the southwestern parts of Côte d’Ivoire, already engaged in the project, scaling to 10 cooperatives and reaching full scale after five years of planting.
The project is fully aligned with the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, which aims to make Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain more sustainable, Nestlé’s overarching Net Zero Roadmap and commitment to regenerative agriculture. This partnership supports Nestlé’s and Barry Callebaut’s climate-smart cocoa ambitions, by aiming to remove up to 1.3 million tons of CO2e over 25 years.
The agriforestry project also aligns with the Science-based Target initiative (SBTi), as well SustainCert verification and the Gold Standard Foundation.
"As part of Nestlé’s Net Zero roadmap, we are committed to reducing our business' climate impact all the way to the farms we source from. A trusted partner like Barry Callebaut is essential to achieving success. Over 21,000 football fields are covered by our joint agroforestry project to support farmers who are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan," said Darrell High, cocoa manager at Nestlé.
Through the combined agroforestry efforts, Barry Callebaut aims to mitigate the impact of climate change and restore natural biodiversity while helping cocoa farmers to prosper and increase their long-term productivity.
Agroforestry helps farmers to develop cocoa farms that are more resilient to drought and diseases, have better soil quality, produce better and higher yields, and provide them with additional sources of income, the company said in a statement.
Cocoa grown under shade trees is linked to increased biodiversity, carbon removals, and nutrient retention in the soil.
In collaboration with local experts and following the latest scientific findings, Barry Callebaut determines the best mix of primarily native species to promote cocoa and soil regeneration and attract pollinators, while providing extra income for farmers and removing carbon.